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Ford Ranger debuts at Detroit auto show

Ford Ranger debuts at Detroit auto show

FORD has finally dropped the Aussie designed and developed 2019 Ford Ranger trade ute on the USA market - but given it an engine from the Mustang pony auto.

Ford has revealed the North American Ranger, which will begin production in MI late this year to capitalise on massive demand for so-called "midsize trucks" - a segment up in that region by 83 per cent since 2014.

The Ranger has an all-new exterior design, chassis, and powertrain.

The 16V engine has direct fuel injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger, plus forged-steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and chain-driven dual overhead cams.

"Ranger's proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost provides a torque target on par with competing V6 engines, but with the efficiency of a four-cylinder", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing.

The Ranger will come in three trims - entry-level XL, mid-level XLT and premium Lariat - with optional Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab extended cab or SuperCrew 4-door configurations. The truck will also have an FX4 Off-Road Package.

Ford Ranger debuts at Detroit auto show

While mechanically very similar to the existing T6 Ford Ranger sold in various other markets around the world, the North American version gets quite a lot of unique equipment. Ford also prioritized ground clearance for off-roading. What are your thoughts on the 2019 Ford Ranger? It features four drive modes of normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand.

The FX4 pack brings Ford's Terrain Management system, a system first found on the ultra-capable Raptor. The 2.3-liter will be exclusively paired to a 10-speed automatic. Trail Control will allow the driver to set and maintain a low vehicle speed (1-20 mph) while traveling through less-than ideal trails on the way to the next adventure. Think of this as cruise-control blended with a hill-descent control system. It's specifically designed for low-speed, off-road terrain and takes over acceleration and braking. This means the technology will send power or brakes to each wheel as needed so drivers can keep their eyes on steering while off-road driving.

Additional features include optional LED headlamps and tail lamps.

Like Australian versions, the US Ford Ranger will use a double wishbone suspension system up the front, and load-friendly leaf springs down the rear. The available Smart Trailer Tow connector makes towing safer and easier by alerting the driver of any faulty trailer connections. Its Sync 3 works off an eight-inch information/entertainment screen.

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa will come as standard features alongside a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. There are multiple USB outlets and available AC power outlets to charge larger devices like laptops. Adaptive cruise control and a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection will be standard on Lariat.

Rolling out of an assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, the new Ranger is based on an architecture Ford developed for sale around the world, but engineers say every piece of the US version's frame is new.

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